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EFFECTS OF CHILDLESS MARRIAGE

Causes:
Studies show men account for 40 per cent of the problems with infertility. Their major problems
include impotency, ejaculatory disorders, inability to produce sperms, low sperm count and
defective sperms.
Women also account for 40 per cent of the problem. Their major problems include inability to
produce ova, blockage of fallopian tubes, unsafe abortion and fibroid.
The rest are unexplained or unexpected. There are some cases in which partners are unable to
have children but when they separate each is able to have children. Some call it sexual
incompatibility.
Effects:
It is the woman who suffers most even when she is not the problem. She is constantly under
stress, frustration and disappointment. She loses respect and may be ridiculed. She is always
tense and sorrowful.

Men simply refuse to accept that they could be the problem and the women in their desperation
from social pressures have been forced to help their men to bring in children from outside.
Childlessness causes constant fights, misunderstanding and suspicion in the marriage. Sex
becomes mechanical and unfulfilling. The risk of being sterile can be a heavy burden. The
woman risk divorce and in some cases gets rivals.

Community effects:
(i)

status loss, including no respect and being a social failure

(ii)

ridicule, including insults and verbal abuse

(iii)

stigmatization or recognizable marginalization

(iv)

Isolation, including exclusion (from ceremonies and social gatherings),


rejection, being an outcasts and physical abuse perpetrated by community
members.

Economic and in-law effects:

(i)

costs of treatment (biomedical or traditional);

(ii)

no economic security, including no care in old age, no economic support from


others, unable to find work, no connections and restricted land use;

(iii)

harassment, pressure and rejection by in-laws; and

(iv)

Exploitation and abuse perpetrated by in-laws.

Legal and family aspects:


(i)

inheritance restrictions, including other legal restrictions such as property rights


and burial rights;

(ii)

marital instability, including fear of the husband taking a second wife or


divorcing the childless woman;

(iii)
(iv)

the husband actually having a second wife


Divorce, including also expulsion from the home and physical abuse and
violence perpetrated by the partner.

Religious and spiritual effects:


(i)

diverse forms of witchcraft attributed to the infertile person;

(ii)

having the 'evil eye' or being a considered a person whom it is better not to
touch; and

(iii)

Being considered a person who brings illnesses and disasters to the community.

How to deal with childlessness


Childlessness is hard to accept. The first step is to build a positive image of your marriage. Fear
will worsen your problem. Do not blame each other or assume suspicious attitude. Both must
cooperate fully.
It is also important you avoid fake pastors or jujumen who will convince you that your problem is
caused by witches or evil forces.
A couple is assumed to have problems if after two years of regular and active sexual life, there is
no pregnancy.
If all attempts fail, couples should accept their condition and stay strong. Knowing that you can
never have children is not easy but denying it actually hurts more.

You may also develop new interest and get involved in activities like sports club, music and travel
to meet people with kids. It helps you to blend in instead of alienating yourself from the rest of
society.
If you dont have kids, you have each other. Cherish and deepen the love you share. Children are
visitors who will come and go. No doubt studies show childless couples in later life, have higher
levels of social participation than older couples who are parents.